Alibaba invests in Virtual Reality

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Last week, we reported that eBay is investigating virtual reality (VR) technology on their tickets marketplace StubHub. And it seems that VR is very much a trend in ecommerce.

Alibaba has invested in a VR firm Magic Leap and opened a dedicated VR lab internally with the purpose of investigating the possibilities of VR when it comes to shopping online and enhancing the experience of Alibaba’s 400 million shoppers.

Zhao Haiping of Alibab says: “VR technology can create an immersive shopping experience for users. Perhaps in the near future, users will be able to shop on Fifth Avenue in New York, while still sitting at home.

It seems that such technology is in a very nascent state but it’s not so long ago that shopping online seemed exciting and cutting edge so it will be interesting to see how the VR technology develops over the next few years.

What’s not clear is how this could impact an ecommerce SME’s workload. It’s enough of a problem getting spiffy listings and perfect pictures up to sell your wares. VR could be a much more tricky proposition.


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